Friday, 15 April 2011


The brief provided was to design and create a new music magazine front cover, contents page and double page spread. The project included research, initial designs, experimentation and development which led to the creation of my final products. All imagery and text used had to be original and I had to have at least four photographs evident in the music magazine.

I started my project by researching the codes and conventions of music magazines currently on sale. The magazines I chose to analyse were Q, Billboard and Rolling Stone Magazine; all three of these magazines have similar codes and conventions. For example, having the masthead positioned at the top of the page, usually in the left hand corner or centred is a common feature. Bright colours are usually used for the main attraction of the audience and a consistent house style should also be adopted. A house style includes the fonts, colours, graphics and page positioning for the publication. The colour has to be constant throughout to allow clear identification and the font has to be clear but also reflect the genre of the magazine. The front cover usually includes more than one cover line, firstly to fill up the empty space but also to highlight the other stories within the magazine. The main cover line will usually be larger than the rest because this feature is the main story for the magazine and is often about a musician they have interviewed.  Another convention is a main image that is vital for any magazine as it helps draw the audience in, the model must fit to that particular genre by the use of mise-en-scene and costume. A date line is used on conventional music magazines; this allows the audience to recognise whether the information inside the magazine is relevant and up to date. A logo is usually shown on the front cover and throughout the magazine, with contact information relating to the company. Usually a web address is printed in small type at the bottom of a music magazine front cover, this allows the audience to have easy access to the magazine anywhere at any time, and the website may also have further information. Puffs are used to enhance text that may be important for an offer. Puffs are normally seen in a circle shape that is enhanced with a bright colour, the text is then placed on top.

A conventional contents page would use the house style of uniform colour and font. The contents page will have a large masthead for identification of what page it is, the page numbers and information will run down one side of the page to allow a clear navigation through the remaining pages of the magazine. A relevant main image will be used that links to the main feature, often the artist or band being interviewed. Other images will then be used around the page numbers resulting in a more graphical presentation. An editor’s letter will be included as this helps create a personal connection between the audience and magazine. Competitions or offers may also be included on this page, i.e. coupons to collect. Page numbers are included on most pages allowing the consumer to easily navigate to a particular article. The exception to this may be where there is a full page advert. Contact information will also be included like the web address or email address; they may even advertise other ways of following the magazine on social websites like Facebook or MySpace.

A conventional double page spread will include one main image stretching across the two pages as well as a masthead. This has a large impact as the masthead tends to be short and snappy to attract the reader to the rest of the article. The double page spread will also include an article or interview about the artist or band. It’s important for the article or interview to be relevant to the magazine but also relevant for the audience. At the end of the interview, the magazine will advertise dates of when a single or album of the artist or band will be released. A website may also be included at this point to sell tickets for their upcoming tour; this is using the technique synergy.

I chose to design my magazine following all these conventions as I wanted my magazine to look professional and also appropriate in comparison to real-life publications. My magazine does not challenge the forms and conventions of typical music magazines, but I have made some small changes such as the layout of my contents page which I feel enhances the overall look of the magazine. I chose to have my page numbers and subheadings to be spread across the page rather than manipulated around one large image. Bauer would be an ideal company to distribute my magazine because they create magazines of high quality and currently have a range of media brands that are similar to my magazine genre.

I chose to aim my magazine at a mixed gender audience; my magazine focuses on pop music. I chose this genre of music as it is a popular choice that a 16-25 age group would listen to; it also appeals to both genders.  I tried to represent this age group in my magazine by using strong pop colours that would attract this young audience.  I also used interesting cover lines that would be relevant to a 16-25 age group, like “music festivals of 2010” or “top 50 artists of 2010”, as it is these cover lines that attract the audience. This convention, then, could arguably be seen as the most important one for the magazine. My magazine aims for a C2 social economic status as it is a high quality magazine,  therefore I had to take into consideration the price for 16-25 year olds at a C2 status. I conducted a questionnaire asking my peers how much they would be prepared to pay for a magazine. My results show that a target audience of 16-25 would be prepared to purchase a monthly magazine of high quality at the price of £2.00-£3.50.  I have therefore decided to price my magazine at £2.99 as I believe this is a reasonable price for the intended product outcome. I also decided to issue my magazine monthly making it a more affordable product for repeat customers, in particular students.

The main image used on my front cover was a close up camera shot as this photograph should create a stronger impact on the potential customer through the artist’s piercing gaze. Also a close up shot allows the artist to be identified from a distance when the magazine is placed on a shelf in a store. I decided to have the photo shoot inside as I was able to use simple backdrops in terms of the colour which put a better emphasis on the artist. It was important to have the artist wearing clothes that represent a pop music genre. To make sure I had the correct clothes I gathered some secondary research of what popular artists wear in the current music industry.

My research showed that most artists seem to have an individual image for example Lady GaGa is now seen as a fashion icon as well as a singer. However there are other artists such as Cheryl Cole who dress similar to the high street fashion with a sexy twist which means that we can relate more to them. I decided that the artist should wear a strapless top so that when I took some close up shots I was able to create the illusion that she was topless. Most of the photographs taken are medium close ups, I chose to do this as I thought medium shots look better in magazines rather than long shots. I took a few full body shots but I did not end up using any of them, as I thought they did not have much of an impact compared to the close ups. I didn’t use any hand props as when I carried out my secondary research I noted that the majority of photo shoots were simple and focused on the artist rather than the surrounding. I used one prop in my shoot which was a simple black chair which allowed the artist to change positions without taking the emphasis away from them. For the “behind the scenes” part of the photo shoot I positioned the camera in various angles either high or low to get a mixture of interesting photos.
By already having a good knowledge of Photoshop and the different range of tools I was able to create my magazine with no difficulties. I would say that by doing this task it has enabled me to further my knowledge in creating a professional looking magazine. I have also been able to strengthen my skills in photography; I now have a clear understanding of camera angles and positioning. This task has allowed me to learn how to set up and use a blogging website, this technology saves time, can be accessed 24/7 and is also better for the environment compared to conventional methods. However Blogger has had some technical issues and did not upload images correctly. I also found positioning text difficult as you could not simply use the navigation device and drag with the curser.

Looking back at the preliminary task of designing a college magazine and contents page, I feel I have learnt the codes, conventions and ideologies of a music magazine and also what should be seen visually on a front cover and contents page. It was important to do in-depth research before the preliminary task as I didn’t have enough knowledge and I struggled on designing my contents page. My primary and secondary research for the project has really helped in creating a professional magazine.

If I was to re-design my magazine I would change the colour scheme as my questionnaire feedback shows that people thought that my front cover looked too feminine and that a male audience may not want to buy the magazine because of this. I would also change the page numbers and subheadings positioning as I thought that my final design looked over crowded. I would also change the floating text and place them into individual text boxes. Overall I believe I successfully achieved a professional looking magazine, this is mostly due to the positive feedback from the public saying how eye-catching the magazine is. Also because I feel I have done a good job in creating a high quality pop music magazine aimed at a 16-25 age band.

Audience Feedback

What are your first impressions of this magazine?
Colourful and eye-catching

2) If you saw this product on a shelf, would it stand out against others?

3i) What genre of music do you think this magazine is aimed for?


4) What gender do you think this magazine is aimed for and why?

Female, pink is the dominate colour

5)Would you be likely to want to read this double page spread?
Yes, the double page spread as a whole is very interesting. the images and colour scheme draws me in
6)Is the font clear and understandable to read?

7)Is the contents page easy to read and follow?


8) overall do you think this is a good magazine?

(One = lowest five = highest) 5
What are your first impressions of this magazine?
Good, I like the title, it stands out and look good.

2 ) If you saw this product on a shelf, would it stand out against others?No, because it all depends where its been placed, what headlines etc.

3) What genre do you think this magazine is?


3i) What music Genre do you think this music magazine belongs too?Pop/R&B

4) What gender do you think this magazine is aimed for?
Female, colours used.
5) Would you be likely to want to read this double page spread?

6) Is the font clear and understandable to read?
Yes, laid out well

7)Is the contents page easy to read and follow?Yes.

8) Overall do you think this is a good magazine?

(One = lowest five = highest)

1) What are your first impressions of this magazine?
Good, I think the image definitely has a big effect.


2) If you saw this product on a shelf, would it stand out against others?
Yes it could,

3) What genre do you think this magazine is?

3i) What genre of music do you think this magazine is aimed for?
I thought it was a fashion magazine, but now I know I would say pop.
4) what gender do you think this magazine is aimed for?both

5) Would you be likely to want to read this double page spread?
Yes, I think it is interesting and different to other double page spreads.
No, it would not stand out, personally because I think it’s hard for any magazine to stand out unless you get something free. But looks like it would belong.
6) Is the font clear and understandable to read?Yes, and there is a clear separation between question and answers for double page spread.

7) Is the contents page easy to read and follow?Yes, there is a clear separation between everything

8)Overall do you think this is a good magazine?(One = lowest five = highest)

1) What are your first impressions of this magazine?
It is a good magazine


2) If you saw this product on a shelf, would it stand out against others?

3) What genre do you think this magazine is?
Music, because of the magazine name

3i) what genre of music do you think this magazine is aimed for?

4) What gender do you think this magazine is aimed for?mostly female, but that's because of the image, but male genders too.

5) Would you be likely to want to read this double page spread?
Yeah it is simple, I don’t like double page spreads that are too packed out, so this works.

6) Is the font clear and understandable to read?
Yes it is, I like the font it’s simple and clear.

7) Is the contents page easy to read and follow?Yes it is, I like the layout as well, it look very professional.

8) Overall do you think this is a good magazine?
(One = lowest five = highest)5

Overall i am happy with my feedback, the feedback shoed a lot of positives about my magazine, although i did get some feedback that is concerning for my music magazine. Most people thought that my magazine was aimed for a female gender rather than mix gender, purely becuase of the colour scheme. Therefore this is something i need to take into consideration.

Friday, 18 March 2011

My Final Pieces

 Music Magazine Developed

 Here is the final design for my front cover, as you can see I have not made big changes that may be noticeable. I started off by changing the text font to create a neater look; I also changed the positioning of the web address to allow the front cover to look more symmetrical. These changes helped a lot in finalizing this final design, i am am very happy with this front cover. 

Here is my final design for my contents page, as you can see I have completely re designed this page. Firstly instead of the main title being 'CONTENTS' I changed it to the magazine name and 'This Week' I thought this kept a consistent style. I enlarged the editor's letter as I thought this was important as this is where the audience can feel connected to the magazine. I added more page numbers so that my contents page looked fuller and packed out. I added images to allow the audience to be more interested in this page. I enlarged the social media website icons as these are important for the audience and magazine.

I have also made a few changes to my double page spread; I completely scrapped the idea of a quoted heading and instead had a simple but catchy heading that stands out. I added more text at the end of the interview on information about the artist and Albums that are next out, I then added a small image of the album just for visual reference.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Music Magazine Designs

Here is my first design front cover design. I really like how this has turned out, it is eye-catching and colourful. I really like how the main image immediately grabs my attention. I also think each cover-line stands out and is clear to read. I think the puff does a good job of allowing the text to stand out, the magazine name works well, the font is different therefore more interesting.

This is my first contents page design. Again i feel that this contents page stands out and is eye-catching. I like how the title 'CONTENTS' stands out and how each letter is laid out, although I think I need to change this around as it isn’t immediately obvious what it says. The layout of the page numbers and headings are clear and easy to follow. I have kept with a constant house style to allow a sense of consistency. I decided to have Micha as the main image of the contents page as this is a conventional theme that magazines would normally do for their contents page, as their main article is an exclusive interview with this artist, also to constantly remind the audience of this. I like how there is a clear separation between FEATURES and MONTHLY articles. Overall i like this contents page, but I will make improvements like filling up the empty spaces of white with more images and relevant text. I will change the main title for this page; I will change the layout of it so that it is clearer.

This is a first design for my double page spread. Firstly I think the layout of the entire page is interesting and clear. I like the layout of the images, and they create a sense of a story being told. This page has a limited colour pallet but I did this deliberately as i thought this would make my double page spread to look more professional, as well as I wanted the main focus to be on the article and images not the colours used. when i develop this I will change the layout of the main headline and perhaps shorten it, it is too big for the page and takes up too much room.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Double Page Spread Article Interview

Micha we salute you. She is the most talked about woman in music and still has plenty more to achieve. Although having all this attention does come at a price, of long hours and booked up schedules; but we have been able to steel Micha away from that hefty scheduale to come tell us all the juicy gossip.  

Pitch: First of all welcome to your very first interview with Pitch Magazine
Micha:Thanks so much, it is great to be here
P:So tell us Micha, how did it all start?
M: Well, It has taken me four years to get where I am today.  These past four years have been a struggle for me, by people constantly telling me that i was not going to make it but i never listened. And look at me now, i’ve made it and i’m here to stay.
P:The music industry is a harsh place to be, but you seem to fit right in, we’ve heard you’re quite good friends with Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine.
M: Harsh is an understatement. Yes me and Florence are great friends, we have known each other for years. I am also great friends with Adele and Jessie J, we all went to the same school.
 P:How are you finding all the attention from the paparazzi?
 M: Honestly, I don’t mind it. Although it seems so surreal. I walked out of tesco    last week and there must have been like thirty paparazzi all shouting my name. I sometimes forget that people want my photo, even walking out of tesco after food shopping. (laughs)
P: All this fame must effect your love life right?
M: No, not at all. I have a boyfriend and we have been together five years. I would never let the fame effect my private life, I try to keep everything separate so that when i see my boyfriend it is just him and me and not fifty paps in our faces.
P: Do we hear ringing bells?
M: (laughs) Not quite yet, but it is something I think about. I just want to concerntrate on my career at the moment and not have to worry about big fluffy dresses. (laughs)
P: Your first Album is due to be released next week, are you exctied?
M: I am excited times a million, but nervous at the same time. It has taken me years to create this album and the thought that everyone will be able to hear my creation is just astounding. I’m still in shock i think.
P: There has been a lot of talk about you and your style, describe your style.
M: I would say I am an individual. I don’t go food shopping with five inch heels on and all dressed up. I go how i would of normally dressed way before fame. I wear clothes from high street shops like topshop and H&M because i can

P: Describe yourself in three words
M: Only three? I have loads though. (laughs) Ambitious, Logical, Humorous.
P: For people starting off in the music industry, what advice would you give?
M: My advice would be, to be yourself. Nobody wants to meet someone fake. I would also say don’t let the fame get to your head, as soon as you are in the spot light your actions influence your fans.
P: What do you have to do everyday to make yourself happy?
M: I have to laugh, it sounds weird but honestly if I don’t get a good laugh in everyday I will be the moodiest person in the world. (laughs) I would say i am a really layed back girl at times and just go with the flow of life. Oh and a nice hot bath, I cannot miss out on my bath times, they are too good to miss. 
P: What is next?
M: I’m due to go on tour in 5 months, so i am working very hard towards that. I have been invited to perform at V-festvial, i am looking forward to that, I love my music festivals.  Oh and hopefully i can squeeze a nice holiday in there. (laughs) somewhere hot would be perfect.
P: So you have alot on your plate right now. It has been great talking to you today and we wish you all the best and we will see you soon.
M: Thankyou, it  has been fun. I look forward to seeing you again.

Second Design Ideas

Chosen Image


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Experimentation of Design Ideas

I also experimented with my ofirst design layout of the contents page and moved the text and images around.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Design Ideas

Chosen Image & Editing

I decided to choose this image as the mina image of the contents page becuase i like the position of the model, the eye contact is imense and pulls the audience in.

I decided to change the image to black and white as my contetns page will have a lot of colour therefore this image may stand out more if it is black and white.  I also enhanced the brightness and contrast to create a good effect.

I added a simple template of where the writing would be between. I have followed the same colour scheme to kee a consistant house style.

I then croped the image, and used the magic wand tool to crop around the image. I then positioned this on the contetns page, this is now a main focal point for the contents page. I added the title and main template.

I then experimented with the positioning of the main title,

I then decided to have this as the final position for the title, i think it is interesting and more playful.

I then added the page numbers and subheadings as well as any images.

Contents Page Draft Ideas

Second Design Ideas for Contents Page

Here is a second design for a possible contents page, I have kept a simliar template for the layout but added more section so that there is a clear separation for text. I decided to change the title to the music magazine name so that a consistant style is put throughout.

I then started to focus on adding the page numbers and subheadings. this is now where the contetns page started to look interesting and professional.
I then added more images to allow the contents page to be more interesting and not such text based.